Students at several schools in the Princeton area are honoring the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. through community service.
The Princeton Day School community participated in a day of service on Jan. 15 that included a wide variety of projects. Pre-K students worked with the 5th graders to write thank you notes to important helpers in the school’s community. Kindergarten students partnered with 6th graders to make placemats for the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen. First grade students made environmentally friendly bird feeders. Second graders participated in Color A Smile, an organization that mails colored smiles to seniors living in nursing homes and to military troops overseas. Third graders made dog toys and dog treats for local animal shelter SAVE, and fourth grade students delivered Valentines to residents of Elm Court, a senior housing center.
Princeton Day School Middle School students performed of “A Better Place,” an original theater piece co-written by Performing Arts Chair Deb Sugarman and 13 Upper School students. The students who conceived the piece wrote: “If we think of Martin Luther King, Jr. and his passion for service, it is founded on his firm understanding that all humans deserve a life of dignity and we are all interrelated. I can’t be free if you are not free.”
In addition to the projects the Middle and Lower School students partnered on, there was a Global Awareness and Literacy Read-a-thon and a Move-a-thon that raised money for Homefront. Eighth grade students took field trips to the Crisis Ministry, Homefront, the Mercer County Food Bank, SAVE, and Windrows.
Lawrence Middle School students took part in the school’s first Martin Luther King, Jr. service day on Jan. 18. Students, staff, and community members worked together on a variety of service projects. They wrapped silverware and toothbrushes for the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen, cut and sorted coupons for the Troopons project, wrote letters to Armed Forces service members, and crocheted hats for newborns. More than 80 students, staff members, and community members volunteered their time.
Tomorrow, Jan. 20, Lawrenceville School students will work on community service projects at more than 40 locations throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The School has held its Martin Luther King Day of Service for more than a decade.
While projects will range from stocking shelves at local food banks to performing classical music for nursing home residents, the majority of volunteer efforts will be made at local daycare centers. Students at the Lawrenceville School must 40 hours community of service to graduate. Some students meet the requirement with work done during school vacations or prior to coming to Lawrenceville. Others perform their service during the school year by working with nonprofit agencies and organizations in the Trenton, Lawrence, or Princeton area. Last year, Lawrenceville students provided more than 13,000 hours of service to area non-profit agencies and organizations, school officials said.